How to Bake Acorn SquashEven people who don't usually like squash have a soft spot for the acorn squash. The ribbed, dark-green skin of this winter squash hides a bright orange interior that is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol but packed with nutrition, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, thiamin and magnesium. It's also high in fiber. There are a variety of opinions about how to cook acorn squash. Some people like the old-fashioned method of slicing the squash in half, removing the seeds, filling the cavity with brown sugar and butter and baking it cut-side up. Others like to drizzle honey or maple syrup in the cavity after brushing the squash with melted butter.
This recipe uses a twice-baked method in which the acorn squash is baked cut-side down and then sliced. An easy-to-make glaze with a hint of spice gets spooned over the squash, which goes back into the oven. The extra step doesn't add much work or time, really, and the results are delicious.
Hey, everyone, I'm Judith with Recipe.com, and today, I'm gonna be showing you how to make a Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash, a full favorite when it gets nice and cold outside, hearty yet healthy. So what you're gonna need is 6 ounces of ground pork. We have one slice of whole wheat bread which we've cubed. We have half a cup of unsweetened apple sauce, a quarter cup of chopped onion, a quarter cup of celery, a dash of cinnamon, a quarter of a teaspoon of curry powder, and some salt to taste, and right here we have a small acorn squash. It's about 1 pound in total. So, first things first, we're gonna cut our acorn squash. Now, when you look for acorn squash in the market, make sure you get a nice, dark, deep-colored rind and that makes sure it's fresh, so basically we're just going to go down the middle, so, we'll get that with our knife and it might be a little tough but we'll cut it in half. So, once you've cut your acorn squash in half, we're gonna remove the seeds. Now, I often like to keep these seeds and toast them for later, a little bit like pumpkin seeds and they taste great, and they're very healthy for you. Just gonna discard them there. So if you wanna toast them and have them on the side, you can do that. And we wanna see a nice deep color yellow in our acorn squash. In fact, the deeper the color yellow, the sweeter it is, so, depending on if you like your acorn squash sweet or a little bit more savory, you can check by the color. Okay. So once that's cut in half, we're gonna get our baking dish, a shallow baking dish here which we've lightly sprayed with cooking spray, and we're gonna place them in cut side down. So, once they're in the baking dish, we're gonna put them in the oven now so we've preheated our oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and they're gonna go in there for 15 minutes. So, now it's time to make that beautiful mix that we're gonna put in our acorn squash, so let's get a large skillet here, we'll put it to medium-high, and we're gonna add in our ground pork. You can use turkey, too, if you don't wanna use pork. We're gonna put in our celery as well and our onions. So now we have everything in our skillet. We're gonna let our meat get nice and brown and our vegetables tender, around about 8 minutes we'll keep it in there. So, our meat has browned nicely, our vegetables are nice and tender, and it's time to add in our spices. So, we've got a little dash of cinnamon here which is such-- it's a really, really wonderful spice to use. It's gonna bring out the sweetness in that acorn, and we have curry powder, another really great kick that it's gonna give to our stuffing mix, and, of course, our salt goes in there. We'll mix that in. We'll give it about a minute and let all those flavors infuse together. It's gonna be a wonderful, flavorful, and aromatic stuffing mix for our acorn. And so now we can add in our apple sauce...and our bread cubes. And what a wonderful mix. That is just looking great. The colors, the flavors. You can smell that cinnamon and curry all infused in there. Fantastic. So, once we've stirred all that in, we can set that aside and that's gonna be ready to put into our acorn squash. Fantastic. So, we have taken our squash out of the oven. We've turned them cut side up and they are just looking and smelling fantastic, so now it's time to stuff them with our pork mixture that we have here. So, all we need to do is load them in those holes there. Oh, that's looking good. Fill them up to the top like so. So we're gonna put that back in the oven now, uncovered, for another 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, we've taken our squash out of the oven after 20 minutes with the stuffing in and now it's just beautiful, nice and golden brown at the top. The inside of the squash is nice and soft, and that is ready to serve up now. I would just spoon that out and that's your dinner. So there you go, that's how you make a Pork Stuffed Acorn Squash. Well, thanks for watching everyone. For more great recipes and savings, go to Recipe.com.
What You'll Need
- Nonstick spray coating
- 1 small acorn squash (about 1 pound total)
- 6 ounces lean ground pork or turkey
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- dash of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 slice raisin bread or whole wheat bread, cubed (3/4 cup)
Step By Step
Spray a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick coating. Halve squash; discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F. oven for 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, for stuffing, in a skillet cook pork, celery, and onion until meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat. Stir in salt, curry powder, and cinnamon; cook 1 minute more. Stir in applesauce and bread cubes.
Turn squash cut side up in dish. Place stuffing in squash halves. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes more. Makes 2 servings.
If you're familiar with how to bake acorn squash already, then you know it's important to choose the right squash. Large acorn squash can be tough and stringy, so look for one on the small side. The smaller ones cook faster, too, and are easier to slice. You'll also find that a more petite squash has a sweeter taste. At 154 calories per serving, this recipe for acorn squash is not only tasty and nutritious, it's also diet friendly.